The worldwide rapid growth in production and consumption of computers, have created special refuses. These refuses are categorized as hazardous wastes due to their human health risks and environmental hazards. The lead used in CRTs and soldering of computer printed circuit boards, the cadmium used in computer chips, the Mercury used in sensors, switches, discharge lamps and batteries, PVC used in the equipments and brominated flame relardants are only a few various applicated elements and compounds in computers. Many of these compounds pose high potential risks.
Each year, in the US. Between 1997 to 2004, about 79000, 130, 26, 70, 257000, 23000 tones of Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Hexavalent Chromium, Plastics and brominated flame retardants, have been entered the waste stream from discarded computers, repectively. Regardless of obsoleted computers, more than 4.6 million computers were operating in Iran in 2003.
About 1.5 million persons were interenet users in 2003 whereas it is expected to reach 15 million persons in 2006(one thousand percent increase in 3 years).
It is anticipated that about 85 million computers will be used by 2021. It means that about 2.2 millions tones of computer waste will be generated in this year. In Iran the accumulative amount of computer waste is about 7.38 million tones in this year. Regarding the rapid growth of computer industry in Iran, environmental crisis is predictable due to the lack of comprehensive planning and programming of computer waste management, specially in ten large cities. It is recommended that appropriate organizations such as Department of the Environment become active in creating proper rules, regulations and organizational chart for these important issues.